• Books read 2021

    Books read 2021

    Books! Best to worst.  Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleischman Is in Trouble Excellent. I will read anything Taffy writes. P.G. Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves Flat-out great and hilarious. Mark Harris, Mike Nichols Immersive and deeply satisfying for a pop culture biography. Ron Brownstein, Rock Me on the Water Cultural history of California in the 1970s. Thich Nhat Hanh, How…

  • Top ten albums of 2021

    Top ten albums of 2021

    In our household albums are always 100% unstreamed, played from start to finish, never shuffled, and usually played from manufactured CDs or from purchased digital files that are burned to CDs. In alphabetical order by artist: Elbow – Flying Dream 1 Kurt Elling – SuperBlue Márcio Faraco – L’électricien de la ville lumière Fleet Foxes…

  • Books read 2020

    Books read 2020

    Books! Best to worst. Nate Chinen, Playing Changes Extraordinary essays on jazz and its recent history. Garth Greenwell, Cleanness Richly realized senses of dislocation and location. Andrea Camilleri, The Overnight Kidnapper Montalbano goodness. David Deutsch, Something about Infinity Well-written and thoughtful examination of creative explanations as a powerful source of knowledge and ultimately experience. Dismissals of…

  • Books read in 2018

    Books read in 2018

    Books! Best to worst. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One hundred years of solitude A re-read of the magic masterpiece. Colson Whitehead, The underground railroad Gorgeous prose and a wildly imaginative literalization of one the most important metaphors in American history. Robert Hughes, Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History Highly idiosyncratic history of Rome through the eyes of…

  • Books read in 2017

    Books read in 2017

    Books! Best to worst. Too many music books, as usual, but hey. Sam Lipsyte, The Fun Parts Wack. Haruki Murakami, Absolutely on Music Six extraordinary conversations about music with Seiji Ozawa. Steve Turner, Beatles, ’66: The Revolutionary Year How a boy band became a zeitgeist. Robert Irwin, The Alhambra The story of “The Red” — the only Muslim palace…

  • Imitation is the sincerest form of larceny

    Imitation is the sincerest form of larceny

    So I’ve been writing for the YMCA of Greater New York for a little over five years, helping them with fundraising in particular. I used to write for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, but I haven’t done so in several years. Recently I noticed a few “echoes” — headlines or themes I had created for New…

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